What does an emergency room physician do in her spare time? Well, if she has spare time, she eats, sleeps, or divides twenty minutes between the two. Not Laura Catena. As if being a doctor in one of the highest pressure realms of medicine isn’t challenge enough, Catena is fully ensconced in the Argentine wine world, a burgeoning but comparatively underexposed player in New World winemaking. Who better than Catena to give Argentine viticulture its due? Wine is her family legacy—her great-grandfather founded the family’s first winery in 1902, meaning the book’s “insider” perspective is bona fide, rooted to the Argentine soil like so many grape vines. Born in Mendoza, “a heaven for winemaking” that’s actually a dessert (where vines work harder, yields are lower, and crop quality is much, much higher) Catena saw her father, a third-generation winemaker, transform modern winemaking practices. And now with a wine production operation all her own, Catena is not only knee deep in the history of Argentine wine, she’s part of its future. Vino Argentino ushers in that future by presenting a thorough, and thoroughly readable, foray into the wine culture and practices of the country from gauchos to Malbec (and well beyond Malbec). Catena doesn’t stop at a discussion of soil and region—although she has that, along with a glossary and maps, too. She introduces the vintners (meet Alejandro Vigil!), the varietals (the floral, peachy, surprisingly crisp Torrontés), even the meteorological phenomena (hail anyone?) that make each region, and each year’s crop, a unique expression of the rich Argentine enological traditions. The cherry on top? Recipes for authentic Argentine dishes like Rib Eye Steak with Chimichurri and Patagonian Potatoes or Crepes with Dulce de Leche.